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DCF Adds 1,500 New Foster Homes

The Florida Department of Children and Families has licensed nearly 1,500 new foster-care homes in the last year, trying to find families for the 10,000 children in state care.

There is a constant need for new foster parents, as others who used to do the job end up adopting their foster kids, burning out or having other changes in their lives.

DCF Child Welfare Services Manager Kristi Putnam says a good foster family helps bring stability to children who have lost their homes through no fault of their own. She also says there are no set criteria for being a foster parent.

“Of course, we have a process and there are requirements that have to be met for licensing purposes. But it’s really just having that open heart, open mind mentality and the willingness to work with kids and their families.”

There are now nearly 4,700 licensed foster homes statewide, enough for fewer than half the children in state care.

This week, DCF is launching a campaign to find additional foster parents for the more than 800 kids in state care who also have special needs.